Once you bring a new gecko home, there are some things you should be aware of so that you don’t get worried too fast. Here are a few of the questions we are frequently asked:
1. When should I hold a new gecko?
Try not to hold a new gecko for a week or two. This is really hard to do! But it will allow your new gecko to settle in quicker without causing extra stress. Also when you do hold it, start by holding it in the cage for short periods of time until it gets accustomed to your hand. Then you can begin to take it out of the cage and lengthen the time you hold your gecko.
2. What if the gecko doesn’t eat right away?
One of the first things every new gecko owner wants to do is feed their new pet; however, many new animals don’t eat right away. They are stressed to be in a new environment and to be getting all of the attention a new pet often receives. This stress is amplified if there are other geckos in the same cage. This means your new gecko may not eat and it may even change colour or become lethargic. It is not uncommon for even the healthiest of geckos to take several days to eat and maybe even more than a week.
3. How long should I wait until I place a new gecko with my existing colony?
Of course, purchasing your gecko from a reputable vendor will increase your confidence that the animal you receive is healthy. However, if you are planning on putting a new animal with your existing animals, regardless of whether you purchased your new pet from a reputable breeder or reputable pet store, you should sequester the new gecko for several weeks. For the first few weeks you should wash your hands after you hold it and make sure that you do not share hides, water dishes, or food between animals. Once you are confident that your new purchase is healthy you can place it with your existing colony.
4. How can I tell if my new gecko is getting along with my older geckos?
Whenever geckos are housed with other geckos, they experience a certain level of stress. As a new gecko is placed with an existing colony, watch for signs of stress. These signs may include colour change (usually darker), bad shedding, runny stool, lethargic behavior, and not feeding. Watch your new gecko to make sure it is getting its share of food and that it is growing at a good rate . Also watch to see that it is not being attacked or attacking any of your other geckos. Most of the time geckos adjust to each other fairly quickly, but being left in a stressful environment for extended periods of time can lead to other illnesses, so monitor the situation closely.
There may be other questions and certainly different answers that work, but these are the ones that have worked for us. Purchasing a new gecko is exciting and worrisome, but if you know what to expect and are prepared for gecko ownership, you will likely have a great experience.